It’s been a while since I put this out, so why don’t we have a #1 Quick Fix on Nyu Media’s recent release of TyranoBuilder?
This isn’t a game. Rather, it’s software for Windows and Mac PCs, used for making visual novels, developed by STRIKEWORKS (Nyu Media published it). It has a simple, basic system that lets you have backgrounds, sprites and textboxes, as well as some minor visual effects and the like. It also appears to be extendable, as you have the option of using code to add additional features.
Things are added via a simple drag-and-drop system, like if you were using Game Maker. This is quite intuitive and easy to work with, and the stuff you make can be made to work on browsers, Windows, Mac, and mobile if you use an external program. They even give you built-in standard features like saving and volume sliders.
In fact, here’s a joke one I made in an hour of fumbling around in the program (Windows-only). Now that I know what I’m doing, I could recreate this in five-to-ten minutes.
But I can’t help but think that it could offer more. If you want to have something as simple as relationship values, or anything at all in addition to just the text and simple choices, you need to use code. If you can code, there are a plethora of other ways one can make a visual novel and have more control over its features, so I would hope that something as simple as choices affecting a number would come standard.
It would also probably be quite helpful if it came with a few default sprites and the like. The only assets it comes with are a classroom background and the background for the title screen, with one character’s set of sprites and a school hallway being available if you check out the tutorial. They also link to someone else’s music for use as a placeholder in the tutorial visual novel.
But it would be so much better if it came with one or two characters and that hallway with some music in the program itself when you first start it up, as well as making the tutorial part of the program instead of an external, online set of instructions. It would have gotten me working faster, but lacking that made me put it down after the already-linked joke VN I made.
In any event, if you have the art skills to make your own stuff and want to try telling a story, TyranoBuilder is an easy way to do it. Just don’t expect to be able to make something super-complex unless you know someone who can code. It is a very competent program and it really lowers the barrier to entry to make a visual novel.